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Fiscal analysts predict that the child care policy changes already in place, coupled with the eligibility and rate increases proposed by the governor for the budget, would deplete any CCDBG surplus by the end of the budget year. Michigan has made the following changes to its child care program since passage of the CCDBG reauthorization in Improved payments for child care providers accepting children with subsidies: Michigan lawmakers approved several rate increases for child care providers, although payments remain below the 75th percentile of market rate—the federal standard for affordability.

The last rate increase approved by the Legislature was in the state budget. For , Gov. The Senate agreed with the governor, but the House rejected any additional rate increases for child care providers. Final decisions on the budget are expected to be made this summer—in advance of the beginning of the fiscal year on October 1, Rate increases contribute to the overall cost per case in child care—a major driver of child care spending. In addition, because Michigan provides higher rates to higher-quality providers based on the state quality rating system, as quality improves, costs increase.

During this same time period, the number of families receiving child care assistance began to rise more slowly, but still falls below levels. Improvements in quality: Michigan has continued to make progress in its efforts to improve child care quality.

Infant Development: Ecological Perspectives (MSU Series on Children, Youth and Families)

Over nearly a decade, the percentage of all children in Michigan ages who received subsidized child care dropped from 4. Yet, high-quality child care remains out of reach financially for many Michigan families, and there are areas of the state where little or no high-quality care is available or affordable. For some racial and ethnic groups, including Latinx and Asian communities in Michigan where there is a larger share of immigrant families, access to subsidized child care is particularly low.

Only 1. There are also wide differences in the availability of child care for families needing evening or weekend care, or child care for infants and toddlers.

Ten Michigan counties do not have any licensed slots at child care centers that serve children younger than 30 months. Only Advocates and parents have raised concerns that child care is increasingly hard to find in their communities, including a reduction in the number of home-based child care providers, many of whom have traditionally cared for infants and toddlers. This decline accelerated when minimal training requirements were put in place for license-exempt providers, along with a rate cut for providers not meeting them.

Rate increases and the move to biweekly block payments are expected to help stabilize the child care market, but additional investments will be needed to meet the needs of young children and their families statewide. The growing awareness of the importance of child care for children, business owners and the economy—coupled with new direction and investments at the federal level—provide Michigan with a unique opportunity to create a child care system that works. Without significant increases in federal CCDBG in the decade between and , the number of children and families benefiting from child care assistance fell steeply.

During that time, Michigan continued to keep its eligibility levels very low, denying assistance to many families with low incomes. Because Michigan allocated its CCDBG funds based on projected caseloads, and simultaneously maintained one of the lowest income eligibility thresholds in the country, it was one of a handful of states that returned CCDBG funds to the federal government. Michigan has never maintained a waiting list for child care assistance—in part because of very low eligibility levels and related investments that suppressed both the demand and the supply of care—so less is known about the true level of need.

Michigan has also committed few state general funds to child care. To build a child care system that works for parents and provides children with an environment where they can learn and develop optimally, additional investments will be needed at the federal and state levels. To fully realize the laudable goals of the law, Michigan must step up its investments in child care.


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The League includes in its priorities some initial steps state policymakers could take, including:. The League is an equal opportunity employer, committed to building and retaining a diverse and inclusive staff and workplace. He is responsible for the collection and management of data related to the Kids Count project. Prior to joining the League, Parker worked with data in various positions to advocate for vulnerable populations, including as project coordinator of a health program in Southwest Michigan, graduate research assistant at The Hilltop Institute, and housing policy intern with the National League of Cities.

She oversees data and advocacy work to increase economic security and racial equity for children across Michigan. A dedicated volunteer, she gives back through grassroots, local government, nonprofit and professional organizations and committees.


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  7. Prior to joining the League, Kelsey managed and delivered direct service programming in the education, health and technology sectors in West Michigan, Washington, D. Her diverse experiences inform her systems level thinking and equity lens. Contact: kperdue mlpp. In his work, Brandon analyzes and researches tax and other revenue generating policies to actively advocate for an equitable and progressive tax system that supports communities of color and people with low and moderate incomes. Brandon is formally trained as a tax economist and has worked in the economics field for over three years.

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    There, he analyzed and reported state labor market information and interfaced with strategic partners to disseminate economic outlooks and forecasts. Prior to joining the League, Brandon worked for a small consulting firm, where he evaluated the economic and fiscal impacts of legislation for a diverse set of clients, including lobbying groups, government agencies, nonprofits, and industry associations.

    In he ran for city council to represent his district in the city and has worked on a number of political campaigns in the past. Contact: bbetz mlpp. His work focuses on state policy as it relates to the budget, immigration, health care and other League policy priorities. Before joining the League, he worked in Washington, D. Prior to moving to Michigan, Simon lived in Baltimore, Maryland where he gained experience at various community-oriented nonprofits, including a health care co-op, an organization analyzing outcomes and barriers to care in a local medication-assisted treatment program and a fiscal sponsor providing operational support to over 80 grassroots programs.

    She also has extensive knowledge in the preparation of payroll and payroll compliance issues and is a Certified Payroll Professional. Contact: calexander mlpp. She deeply cares about the well-being of individuals and families and has a great love for Michigan. She is grateful that her position at the League enables her to combine these passions and work to help promote policies that will lead to better opportunities and security for all Michiganders.

    She loves being an aunt and enjoys reading, writing, music, general nerdery and spending time with friends who are family and family who are friends. She may or may not be obsessed with her dog. She is. Previously, Amber worked at the National Conference of State Legislatures tracking legislation and research related to injury and violence prevention, adolescent health, and maternal and child health. She also brings with her two years of Americorps service.


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    As a full time volunteer, Amber had the opportunity to tutor high school students in Chelsea, Massachusetts and address issues of healthcare access and food insecurity through in-person outreach in Seattle, Washington. Prior to joining the League, Dwayne was the engagement strategy and urban outreach for the Center for Michigan and Bridge magazine a nonprofit and nonpartisan think and do tank. In her role with the league, Jayme works with organizations throughout the region to connect the impact of budget and tax policies to their communities.

    She is committed to partnering with stakeholders to amplify constituent voices so that all Michiganders have the opportunity to thrive. Karen is an experienced coalition-builder and advocate. As community engagement director, Renell works with organizations throughout the state in connecting the impact of budget and tax policies to their communities.

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    She is motivated by the belief that all children and adults deserve the opportunity to achieve their dreams regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or economic class. Casey Foundation. Mark Schauer where she collaborated with a diverse array of community leaders, agencies, grassroots organizations and local units of government. She also served as Constituent Relations Director and District Representative for the Office of Michigan Senate Minority Leader, has managed a nonprofit that provided programs for youth and families and operated a child care program.

    In , in recognition of her community service, Jackson College awarded Renell the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Medal of Service Award. The King Medal of Service Award recognizes individuals in Jackson for their community service and who believe in the basic tenets of cultural and ethnic diversity, recognize the richness and strength that comes from valuing others of different groups and encourage minority group members to participate fully in our society.

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    She attended Wayne State University and holds a bachelor of arts in management and organizational development from Spring Arbor University. She oversees the project, which includes the collection and analysis of data to make informed policy recommendations to improve child well-being. Alex Rossman joined the League staff in as communications director.

    He handles writing, editing and messaging, media relations and social media for the League to help ensure our work gets the attention it deserves. Prior to joining the League, Alex worked for Democratic Central Staff for the Michigan Senate for almost ten years, serving as the deputy communications director and, previously, as press secretary and communications advisor, helping draw attention to the important legislative issues facing our state.

    Alex holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration and sports management from Aquinas College, where he also ran cross country and track. She is now president of the Buffett Early Childhood Fund, where she manages early childhood investments. Sameroff is a developmental psychologist and pioneer in the field of developmental psychopathology. He is best known for his influential transactional model of development, which describes the ways in which the child, parent, and environment affect each other and the child's development.

    His research on environmental risk and promotive factors has fostered a more comprehensive understanding of interventions to improve the emotional, social, and cognitive welfare of children. A developmental psychologist and former faculty member at UNL, Dr. Thompson studies early parent-child relationships, the development of emotion understanding and emotion regulation, conscience development, and the growth of self-understanding in young children. He also works on the applications of developmental research to public policy concerns, including school readiness and its development, early childhood investments, and early mental health.

    Her research and policy efforts relate to early childhood programs, teacher training, school readiness, and parenting education. Thornburg has taught third grade, been a professor at the Universities of Kentucky and Missouri, directed child development labs serving children ages six weeks to 10 years, directed the Center for Family Policy and Research at MU, and served as assistant commissioner for the Missouri Department of Education. If you would like to receive periodic e-mail updates about the Buffett Early Childhood Institute at the University of Nebraska, please complete the form below.

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